Story at a glance
- Democrats are latching onto the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade to bolster turnout for the 2022 midterm elections in November.
- Compared with those polled before the decision, more women said the overturn motivated them to vote in the election.
- Inflation, gas prices and gun violence are also top of mind for voters.
Despite previous research conducted before Roe v. Wade was overturned showing a reversal of the case would not influence voter behavior in the November midterm elections, a new report from The Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) shows most women are now “more motivated” to head to the polls following the highly controversial Supreme Court ruling.
Polling conducted between July 7-17, 2022 shows an increase of 19 percentage points among women voters between ages 18 and 49 who are more motivated to vote based on the decision, compared with a poll conducted in May following a draft leak of the high court’s opinion. Now 6 in 10 women voters say they are more motivated to vote following the official Supreme Court ruling striking down the federal right to abortion.
“Among this population, there has been a fourteen percentage point increase in the share who say abortion will be ‘very important’ to their 2022 midterm vote (59% in February to 73% in July),” the KFF report reads.
Eighty-eight percent of those who said they were more motivated to vote in the July poll said they plan to vote for candidates who support providing abortion access.
Among the general population, 43 percent now say the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade has made them “more motivated” to vote, compared with 37 percent in May, following the leak, authors wrote. However, more than half of voters say the decision has not made a difference on their motivation.
Inflation and gas prices are top of voters’ minds for the midterms, although abortion is among other popular voting issues including health care costs and gun control. These issues are also split along party lines, with more Democrats citing concern over gun violence and abortion access and Republicans and independants reporting inflation and gas prices as top issues.
Around 65 percent of Americans in general disagree with the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, which gave states the power to decide to what extent abortion access is restricted. Furthermore, 61 percent of those surveyed support laws in their state to guarantee access to abortion, while this measure is largely supported by Democrats, independents and women between ages 18 and 49.
The KFF poll also highlights uncertainty among Americans about the implications of striking down Roe and whether abortion is still accessible.
“About one-fifth of people living in states with trigger laws or pre-abortion bans say they are “not sure” whether abortion is currently or will be banned, or not, in their state,” authors wrote.
A total of 1,847 U.S. adults participated in the July survey, marking a nationally representative sample.